American Airlines greatly improves automatic mileage reinstatement for award tickets
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
American Airlines has made quite a few changes to the AAdvantage program since the outbreak of the coronavirus.
It all started when the carrier announced that it’s extending elite status through Jan. 31, 2022. As part of the news, AA also announced some creative and generous promotions, including the ability to earn Million Miler status from credit card spend.
However, buried in the announcement was a change to the award change and redeposit fee structure that wasn’t necessarily good news, depending on how you redeem your miles. The positive is that all awards can now be changed or canceled 60 or more days before departure. The negative is that you can no longer make free date and time changes that were otherwise allowed under the program.
For more travel tips and news, sign up for our daily newsletter!
On April 24, the carrier quietly introduced automatic mileage reinstatement for canceled awards. Previously, you’d need to call in to cancel any of your AAdvantage awards and get your miles put back in your account. With the new feature, eligible trips can be canceled and redeposited through the website.
Though automatic mileage reinstatement was great news, unfortunately very few tickets were eligible for the service.
Just two months later, the carrier has made another quiet — but very positive — update by expanding eligibility for this service. Specifically, you can now cancel your awards online and automatically get the miles back so long as your ticket qualifies for a free redeposit.
Previously, automatic mileage reinstatement post-July 1 was limited to Executive Platinum members traveling as a single passenger, booked with the member’s miles.
Now that AA has updated the ticket eligibility, many more customers can take advantage of this time-saving feature. If you book any award in the month of June, your ticket has free cancellations and can be automatically redeposited, regardless of the number of passengers or your elite status. And going forward, this means that any award ticket can be redeposited online so long as it’s canceled more than 60 days before departure.
There are still a few other requirements for being eligible for automatic mileage reinstatement. The reservation must be on American Airlines flights only and booked through the U.S. version of the website. Additionally, travel must not have begun, and no other changes have been made to the trip since the ticket was issued.
If you fit the bill, then you’ll automatically get your miles back into your account within 48 hours of canceling your trip online.
Note that under this new policy, Executive Platinum travelers should now receive automatic reinstatement of miles on virtually all American-operated award tickets ticketed on the U.S. version of AA.com — since reinstatement fees are waived on all tickets, regardless of how far in advance you cancel your flight.
For all other trips, you’ll still need to call AA to cancel and redeposit your miles. However, the expanded eligibility is another step in the right direction — and one that I hope continues to get expanded in the near future.
All photos by the author.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees